Physicist Robert Fuller to talk about "rankism" in science, education and society March 13

February 22, 2007

DEARBORN / Feb. 22, 2007---Physicist Robert Fuller, former president of Oberlin College and former science policy advisor to Indira Gandhi, will present “Liberty, Justice and Dignity for All: Democracy’s Next Step” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13 at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place in Room 1030 of the campus’s College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building.

Fuller will talk about his efforts to create a “Human Dignity” movement as a response to the prevalence of “rankism”--the abuse of the power inherent in rank--in science, education and society. He is the author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank and its follow-up, All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity, which focuses on building a dignitarian society.

After earning his Ph.D. in physics at Princeton University in 1961, Fuller taught at Columbia University. In 1970, he was appointed president of Oberlin College--his alma mater--at the age of 33.

Fuller then traveled to India as a consultant to Indira Gandhi. He began a campaign to end world hunger during the 1970s and met with Jimmy Carter in 1977, an encounter that led to the establishment of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger.

Fuller traveled to the USSR in the 1980s, working as a citizen-scientist to improve the Cold War relationship. His work led to the creation of the non-profit global corporation Internews, which promotes democracy via free and independent media. Fuller served as its chairman for many years.

Fuller’s talk is co-sponsored by the CASL dean’s office, the Science and Technology Studies Program and the philosophy discipline.

For more information, contact Prof. Maureen Linker at


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CONTACT: Jennifer Sroka
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